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A short film by Cook St. Productions that explores panic and preparation in the hours leading up to midnight on December 31, 1999.
A short film by Cook St. Productions that explores panic and preparation in the hours leading up to midnight on December 31, 1999.
A short film by Cook St. Productions that explores panic and preparation in the hours leading up to midnight on December 31, 1999.
119 backers pledged $14,700 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Bunco: a Y2K comedy

$14,700

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Thanks to everyone who contributed and promoted this project, BUNCO is officially a reality! We hit our $13,000 target in just 23 days - great job, everybody! We can never adequately thank those that donated, just know that you’re all honorary Cook St. members now.

Our $13,000 target reflects the minimum budget for BUNCO, which means we have 5 days left to hit our STRETCH GOAL, set at $16,000. If we get to $16,000, we can do so much more with this project - both creatively and logistically. When you’re renting equipment, securing locations, licensing music…every dollar counts. The more money we raise, the more we can do. Such as:

  • submit to dozens of festivals, including big dogs like Sundance and South By Southwest.
  • rent a dolly and jib for camera movement, creating a far more cinematic look
  • screen BUNCO in an additional city (somewhere on the East Coast)  
  • make up for the 10% cut that KickStarter and Amazon take upon funding

Hitting our stretch goal means we can scale up all elements of production and make BUNCO on a more realistic budget. We don’t want to just make a good film, we want to make a GREAT film.

Bunco takes place entirely on December 31, 1999. Panic surrounding the destructive potential of the Y2K bug has reached fever pitch. As much of the world braces itself for a disaster that will never come, Robert Pascal, best-selling author of don’t PANIC: A Y2K Survival Guide, faces a fear unique to him: what if nothing happens?

Robert is a Y2K preparation expert, which is to say he’s created a career that preaches the benefits of preparedness while admittedly having no idea what exactly people should be preparing for. There is a casual understanding amongst the general public that computers are unequipped to handle the impending date changeover, but no one can say for certain how this computer glitch will affect humanity. In times of great uncertainty and fear, those who speak the loudest are heard the clearest, and Robert's voice is hoarse from shouting.

Robert’s system of preparedness has been rewarded. He’s testified before Congress, he's done hundreds of TV and radio interviews, and has developed a devoted fan base that follows his every word. Chief amongst these disciples is Robert’s best friend and assistant, Paul, who has been by his side since the very beginning. Robert and Paul spend the last day of the millennium trying to steady themselves for the tremors of Y2K.

The film opens with Robert’s morning interview on a local news station, moves to a raucous town hall meeting, and eventually, ends in Robert’s bunker where his wife is throwing a New Year’s Party. As midnight approaches, Robert must reconcile the possibility that either he’s right and the flood is coming, or he’s wrong and he just spent years building an Ark for no reason.

Bunco is a story about panic, preparation, and ego in an era where dial-up Internet was very slowly (and loudly) starting to change the world.

How much do you remember about 1999? The Sopranos was in its first season, Bill Clinton had just been impeached, and Ricky Martin was setting fire to the loins of a million chicas. Napster and Myspace had just been released, with no understanding of how quickly they’d be copied and replaced. People were just starting to comprehend how vast and inclusive the Internet was, and were uneasy about digitizing a world that was still predominantly analog. Those who were reticent to accept this new era were quick to embrace the idea that computers were about to bring us to our knees.

But as you know - nothing happened.

We chose to make a movie about a non-event in history where the viewer is fully aware of the ending because this all sounds so silly now, and frankly, we’re surprised it hasn’t been done yet.

Cook St. Productions has spent the last three years making comedy videos for the Internet. It’s actually 50 videos, to be exact--ranging from sketch to music parody to narrative web series. Our content has been featured on the front page of FunnyOrDie, and written about by Slate, The Onion AV Club, and Indiewire. Our web series Under the Affluence was voted “Staff Pick” by Clowdy and Webserieschannel.com, and our short film South Prussia Swim Club was a 2014  “Best Of” selection in the 48-Hour Film Project in Denver, CO.

That is the sum extent of our accolades. The video below shows what we've been working on the last three years.

But really, we're just four guys (Evan, Justin, Nate, Travis) whose friendship spans twelve years, and whose shared comic sensibility transcends time in its traditional understanding. Our dream is to make comedy for a living, and Bunco is the next step in creating that reality. Bunco will be written and directed by Justin & Travis, and will star Nate & Evan in the lead roles.

We are very excited to have Jake Gabbay and AJ Oscarson lending their talents to Bunco.  They are coming aboard as cinematographer and assistant director, respectively. Below are some examples of their work. Sean Martin, a wonderful man and gifted musician, will be scoring the film (check out his band, Teleport).

Creating content for the past three years has been both creatively rewarding and financially draining.  We have produced all of our videos using limited personal means, but maxing-out-credit cards-for-equipment and bribing-friends-with-Chipotle can only take you so far.

We have come a long way as storytellers, but to stand beside hundreds of other films vying for festival exposure, our production value needs an upgrade. Our funding goal is $13,000, which reflects the minimum budget we'll need to give Bunco a polished look and sound. This covers rental fees for cameras, microphones, and lights, as well as the substantial cost of post-production (i.e. color correction and final audio mixing). 

For a full breakdown of the budget, feast your eyes on this delicious pie chart, baked just for you, my darling.

Pie Chart
Pie Chart

Any proceeds beyond our $13,000 goal will be allocated to the production budget for a fuller cinematic experience (e.g. dolly, jib rental). We believe Bunco is an ambitious and original story meant for the big screen. It’s about the (almost) end of the world, so the stakes are high.

Risks and challenges

-Our film takes place in 1999, and well, it’s 2015. The cars are different, the clothes are different, and mercifully, the hair is different. Since December 1999, five new countries have been created, and while we probably wouldn’t have mentioned Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia, we didn’t want to take any chances by not doing our research. Creating a filming environment that is consistent with 1999 will take time, money, and imagination.

-BUNCO takes place on December 31, which we only mention as a challenge because we’ll be shooting the entire thing in June. We have to create the illusion of winter, which will be difficult, but doable.

-We’ve allocated 10 days to shoot this entire film, which has 25 characters and 10 shooting locations. The primary challenge here will be organization and scheduling.

We sincerely hope you believe in this project as much as we do; it is with your participation and generous support that will facilitate BUNCO seeing the light of (New Year’s) day.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    --Many thanks--
    Receive a big thank you from Cook St. on our website and on Facebook!

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    --DJ Cook St.--
    Take advantage of Cook St's world-renowned DJ skills and receive two 25-song Spotify playlists - one 1999-themed, the other with our current favorite tracks.

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    --Exclusive Viewer--
    Gain access to a digital Screening of "Bunco". Also receive the playlists and social media shout out!

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    --Muggin' for the Camera--
    Get a limited edition Cook St. mug! You will also have access to a digital screening of the film, the playlists, and social media shout outs!

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    --12 Months of Cook St--
    Receive a special Cook St. calendar. You will also have access to a digital screening of the film, the playlists, and social media shout outs!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    --Honorary Cook St'er--
    We will print out a cardboard cutout of your beautiful face and take it with us everywhere! This includes on the set of "Bunco", to the wrap party, and out on the town in Denver! We will post the pics on social media and tag you so you can brag to your friends that you were on set!

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    --Your Name Here--
    Your generosity will be known by all as one of the characters in the short film will be named after you! You will also have access to a digital screening of the film, the playlists, and social media shout outs!

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    --Associate Producer--
    Receive an Associate Producer credit in the end credits of the film. Also, select any of the rewards from above.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    --Sketch Producer--
    Got an idea for a comedy sketch? Want to be in one? We will work with you to write, film, edit, and produce a sketch. We'll then promote it on YouTube and Funny Or Die and you will probably get famous!

    You will also receive an Associate Producer credit on "Bunco"!

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    --The 1999--
    Receive Executive Producer credit at the end of the film as well as a credit listing at IMDB.com!

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    --In Association With--
    Your name and/or company logo will appear after our production company logo as 'In association with.' You will also be listed as Executive Producer on IMDB. Finally, you'll be invited to attend the festivals where "Bunco" plays.

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Funding period

- (30 days)